Working on badges for the Document Liberation Project

I love free and open formats

The graphics are still a work in progress, but they’re coming along quite well. I think this one is my favorite so far, as the message is so universal, and the small splash of red is the perfect balance for the blue of the background.

Once I finish these badges and wrap up some related work, I’ll try to find time to create badges for TDF and LibreOffice as well. I don’t usually get time to spend on graphic design, which is too bad, because it can be so much fun. Working with Inkscape can be a little bit tricky at times, but I’ve been trying to follow good habits (e.g. resizing and aligning objects using exact numerical values), and that discipline is very helpful in staying sane when trying to work on a set of different graphics all at the same time.

Beautiful business cards

Business cards by Moo just sent me some amazing mini business cards. I hadn’t ever had a set of these small-format cards before, but I’ve received a few from colleagues in Europe and from Free Software hackers here in the US.

The potential for saving a few trees is rather nice, although as my friend pointed out, one might much more easily lose a smaller item in one’s pocket than one twice as large. But the really amazing thing is that they came in a box that seems color-coded to the design of my particular cards.

Others have told me that this is just a coincidence — that Moo has boxes that come with a variety of color highlights. Indeed, I received more than one box, and only the first box matched the green and white color scheme of the LibreOffice design. But I find it auspicious that the first box was the one that matched-up so well.

Perhaps this is a sign that the stars are coming into alignment and new opportunities are opening up for me. You know, if I believed in that kind of thing. Regardless, when I head out to conferences and meetings, I’ll carry my cards in the white box with green highlights, if only so I can show you how delightfully the cards sit in there. It’ll give me the perfect opportunity to share my card with you.

Introducing the Document Liberation Project: LibreOffice’s new tag-team partner

My friend tells me that it’s just a few days until Wrestlemania — pro wrestling’s flagship annual event. This Sunday (sunday…sunday), thousands of fans will show up to see luchadors pro-wrestlers perform in a small ring, throwing each other about and providing a spectacle of a performance for those in the bleachers and for the million or two at home. Given the imminent match-up, I find it quite fitting that The Document Foundation (TDF) has just announced the creation of the Document Liberation Project, a “home for the growing community of developers united to free users from vendor lock-in of content.”

On the face of things, one might not see a close comparison between computers and big, brawny men, but if you delve into the world of file formats and software, you’ll see how a fight is being waged every day — on desktops and laptops around the world.

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Holiday Greetings to LibreOffice

Holiday Greetings to LibreOffice

Merry Christmas + Happy New Year to TDF and LibreOffice. May this next year be as fun as skating on a winter pond!

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Musings: Crowdsource RECAP of PACER documents for next to nothing

Last night Lawrence Lessig spoke at Dartmouth College about Rebooting our Government. I’ve read Lessig’s articles and listened to his lectures before, and seeing him speak in person was quite a treat.

Lessig’s lecture highlighted his mission to give control of our government back to the people — to the citizens of the US. Fix Congress First is one of the groups encouraging this reform, and I suggest that you go check out their website right now!

Part of giving the Citizenry control is making sure that everyone has free, open access to all of our laws and court case records. Federal court records are in the public domain and are available online through the Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) electronic record system, however access to the PACER system is billed using a per-page rate.

Because the documents in PACER are public domain, once a document is accessed, it may be distributed without restriction or additional fee. As a result, several groups are currently working on opening the vast archive of documents in PACER so that anyone can access any of them, at any time, with no fees or strings attached.
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Time to empty my pockets for FOSS projects

I’m still hesitant to call it any kind of ritual, but as I’ve done it for a few years it has become a bit of a habit for me to compile a long list of projects and groups and to then dole-out money to all of my favorite freedom-loving FOSS and Open Content organizations.

I try to get my donations in by the 1st quarter of the year, but as this year has been so hectic for me, moving offices around and such, I had to push off the ritual until May. Okay, fine. Maybe it is a ritual for me now!
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Dissecting a survey: Analysis of the Coop Food Stores survey run by Tuck

The Coop Food Stores have partnered with the Tuck School of Business to take a survey of the “primary grocery shoppers” in each household.

This link will likely die in a couple of months, but here’s the current link to the survey.

I picked up a hard copy of the survey in the Lebanon store, and quickly found that I was much more interested in dissecting the survey than actually answering all of the questions. The survey comprised several pages of questions, and some of them required quite a lot of concentration to answer correctly. Some questions seemed repetitious, and other questions seemed to have too much ambiguity for me to feel comfortable answering.

So, on with the show!
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